IN & AROUND RABAT

PMGY volunteer in Morocco participants are lucky enough to be based in the medieval coastal city of Rabat. Relatively undiscovered, those who do venture there are in for a right treat.

 

Morocco’s capital is a gem of a city that combines the old with the new: a place where Moroccan history spectacularly collides with modern life. Unlike the hustle and bustle of other Moroccan cities, in Rabat, you are left to go about your business – and to watch everyone else go about theirs in peace. Being blissfully ignored on the streets gives you the space and time to discover the hidden depths of this fascinating city.

 

It has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, oodles of sights to explore and more wonderful restaurants than you can shake a stick at. Rabat offers a deep insight into real Moroccan life plus you’re only 15 minutes away from the beach!

Bab El Had Gate and square in the old town of Rabat, Morocco

MEDINA

PMGY volunteers are based in the heart of Rabat’s Old Quarter, commonly known as the Medina. The quiet medina has an authentic feel to it and is characterised by maze-like streets and traditional markets (souks). You can also find beautiful landmarks like the Grand Mosque and the Moulay Sliman Mosque here.

KASBAH LES OUDAIAS

This site occupies the oldest part of the city and commands powerful views over the river and ocean from its cliff-top perch. The Kasbah is predominately residential and the narrow streets are lined with whitewashed houses – most of which were built by Muslim refugees from Spain. It’s a tranquil and picturesque place to wander and there’s no need for a guide.

Colourful street of the Kasbah Les Oudaias in Rabat, Morocco
Le Tour Hassan, Rabat's most famous landmark tower

LE TOUR HASSAN

Rabat’s most famous landmark tower was an ambitious project, which would have been the second-largest mosque of its time. But the Sultan died before it was finished. Unfortunately his successors didn’t have the same passion for it so it so the 60m-tall minaret tower was abandoned at 44m.

Volunteer in Sri Lanka

FURTHER AFIELD

MARRAKECH

Exotic and hypnotic, the magical city of Marrakech mixes Islamic artwork with souks stacked high with spices, leather and lanterns. There are so many things to do in Marrakech, but it’s the whirl of orange blossom, sticky dates, donkeys and carpet sellers, mint tea and snake charmers enmeshed in the tight labyrinthine streets that have lured visitors to the Red City for years. Outside the 12th-century city ramparts is the French-founded New City (Ville Nouvelle) with its stylish boutiques, art galleries, alfresco cafés and restaurants, and hip spots for barflies. As the city gains ever more stylish riads and gorgeous out-of-town hotels, it’s definitely fast becoming the coolest Moroccan city to hang out in.

The UNESCO World Heritage Jemaa el Fna Square in Marrakesh, Morocco
Camel caravan going through the sand dunes in the Sahara desert, Morocco

SAHARA DESERT

The vast and glorious Sahara Desert is a must do while in Morocco. Travel through the stunning Atlas Mountains to reach the edge of the Sahara where you can set off by camel to a desert camp deep in the dunes. Learn to tie a turban to keep the desert sun off your face and add a little flare to your photos! Tuck into a traditional Moroccan meal under the stars listening to stories about life in this region and, perhaps, some traditional music on the drums.

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